Broadcast Networks Take a Hit on Campaign Ads

On Tuesday, the stock prices of several companies that are connected to campaign advertising took a hit as the Trump campaign ad spending continues to fall short of the amount typically spent by a presidential campaign on TV ads.
Mr. Trump doesn’t appear to be spending as much as people thought. — Les Moonves, CBS CEO

Trump only spent $20 million on TV ads during primaries

The Trump campaign did not air a single campaign ad between the time he clinched the Republican nomination last May through the second week of August. During this same time period, Clinton and pro-Clinton PACs spent $104 million according to NBC News. During the primaries, Trump spent only $20 million on ads, compared to the $62 million that Clinton spent.
Since mid-August, the Clinton campaign and its supporters have aired about 62,000 TV ad spots on national television, compared with about 27,000 aired by the Trump campaign and its supporters — Wesleyan Media Project
Trump has upended much of the conventional wisdom about running a political campaign and has relied much more extensively on social media to drive his message. For a person who reportedly does not use emails, Trump has proven to be remarkably astute in his use of online platforms to drive his message.

Trump perfects use of social media

Donald Trump, whether you agree with him or not, has perfected the use of social and earned media to drive recognition, the main selling point of advertising. The name search alone in Google produces 381 million results, as opposed to Hillary Clinton, whose namesake results in 259 million results. Currently, Trump has 11.6 million Twitter followers and 10.7 million Facebook likes, compared to Clinton's 8.88 followers and 6 million likes. — Direct Marketing News
Mr. Trump made self-funding his campaign an effective part of his strategy during the primaries. Many Americans believe that money has too much influence in politics. According to a poll by CBS News, 84 percent of Americans think money has an undue influence in politics.

Trump raised $80 million in August – Clinton $90 million

The Trump campaign showed that it can raise funds as evidenced by $80 million the campaign took in during August. The Clinton campaign, which raised some $90 million in August took note of Trump’s surge and sent out an alert to supporters asking for more money.
While we are very proud of the more than $469 million our campaign has raised so far, we remain behind the historic pace that President Obama set in 2012, raising $520 million during the same time frame. — Robby Mook, Clinton campaign manager

Clinton campaign will keep spending in battleground states

The Clinton campaign believes that television advertising is an important part of their campaign strategy and much of the money they raised in August will be dedicated to new ad buys. It remains to be seen if Trump’s campaign is saving its money for a big ad push in October or has some other plan in mind.
Meanwhile, campaign ad spending on Congressional and local races is maintaining previous campaign levels, which has helped soften the blow to the networks. Virtually all presidential TV ad spending is focused on the ten or twelve key battleground states, ignoring other markets where the presidential campaign is not competitive.

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